Australian Prime Minister Nathan Rees spoke to crowds
gathered at Sydney's Parramatta Park to watch an
early-morning launch of 18 Hot Air Balloons. This
took place as part of a day-long event to celebrate
Australia's National Day.
Day stretches back to 26 January 1788 when Captain
Arthur Phillip took ‘formal possession’ of the Colony
of New South Wales. Phillip became Governor of that
colony, founded on the harsh grounds at Port Jackson.
Australian history has been evolving ever since.
In 1838 celebrations took place marking the 50th
anniversary of Philip's landing. That was the start
of the "Australia Day" public holiday in New South
Wales. Australia Day was also adopted in Victoria
in 1931. In 1935 the Australian Commonwealth Government
and all States and Territories (except NSW) adopted
"Australia Day" as the official title for the National
Day. Since 1946 all States and Territories celebrate
Australia Day on 26th January. It is estimated that
around 7.5 million people attend Australia Day ceremonies
News reported this colourful start to Australia
Day 2009 at around 7:50am Australian time.
Date of this News Page: 26 January
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